Monday, August 19, 2013

Wooden Cube (or, the first in a whole myriad of projects that we will do in order to use up the 12,376 pieces of wood.)

Kirby:  I am turning this blog over to DL because it's his story.  While some of my blogger friends have husbands who are writers (like Jean), mine is a chemical engineer.  This is your warning.

DL:  It all started when I saw some factory carts being sold for over $750 on a website.  I thought that I could pick up a few locally for a lot cheaper, and I could sell them for what Paul (at Great Stuff by Paul) sells them for, which is about $400.  I picked a couple up, sold them pretty quickly, and started looking for auctions where I could get more.

I found a website (Kirby here: Not THAT kind of website!) that had industrial auction listings, and I also started paying attention to the names of local manufacturers going out of business.

I read about a furniture factory going out of business, (Kirby: I wrote about it hereand they had a lot of factory carts for sale.  I went early in the sale and the factory carts were too expensive, so I walked away.  I could see that they had some nice stuff, but the prices were too high.  I was told that the prices would go down every month, until the rest was sold at auction in July.  I went back several times to check the prices, and bought a few little things here and there (including a dry sink for our dining room), but waited for the auction.

I checked the website to look at how the auction lots were divided.  Some of the lots were exactly what we were looking for--metal wheeled carts that we would put butcher block countertops on--in lots of 3s and 4s.  If I could get them for less than $50 each, it would be worth it, because I could sell them for quite a bit more.  Unfortunately, I was traveling that day and wouldn't be home until the afternoon.  The auction started at 9 am, and there wasn't any way I would be there until early afternoon.  I asked Kirby to go, but she had other stuff to do.
(Kirby here:  When DL found out he was going to be out of town the day of the auction, he asked me if I would go.  *snort* As if I have the time to burn a day at an auction of wood.)

When I got to the auction, most of the lots that I wanted were gone.  There were a few metal carts left, so I hung around waiting for them.  I was shocked when I saw how cheap most of the stuff was going.  I got the carts at a bargain, and them saw some large table tops and legs I wanted, so I waited around a little longer.  I couldn't believe how low the prices were.

I'll admit it...I was deal drunk.
(Kirby here:  I would use the term "stupid.")

And just as I was getting ready to bid on some wooden table legs, they threw in some other pieces.  A bunch.  And I got the stuff so cheap, that it was worth hanging around.  So I bought the lot of legs, and then some tabletops came up and I bought those, too.  And it just got out of control.  By the time I was done, I had so much I didn't really even know what I had.

(This is where Kirby pours a drink to help her cope with the thought of 12,376 pieces of wood in her carport.)

It took two weekends to move all the stuff back to Winston, and I filled the carport and part of a warehouse the first week.  Luckily, Kirby was at Haven the second weekend, so that she didn't have the chance to yell at me when I brought home the rest of the wood.  (Kirby: This is a good thing, because I had already spent the weekend before helping him load a truck full of wood.  I was not going to do it again!) Of course, as soon as she was back, she started asking me what I was going to do with all of it.  She started hinting that some of it would wind up in a metal garbage can to be burned by hoboes, but I quickly decided to build something and get a little bit of a return on my investment.

College Cube:

5 pieces of wood, 17" x 17"
4 4" furniture legs
2 corner braces
narrow furniture trim (we used flat and half-round)
wood glue
wood screws
finish nails

The first thing we did was a "dry run," making sure that everything was going to fit together.  This takes two people, which is why you see my toes at the bottom of the photo, and DL's foot to the right.

After we're satisfied with the way it will go together, we mark top left and right, because not all wood is uniform or whatever.  Or because DL is anal.  Whichever.

We flip over the bottom piece and attach the feet.  I'm not sure where you get these feet...they came in DL's pile of stuff.  But I bet you can get these somewhere.  Anyway, they give the cube a little more pizazz.

After attaching the legs, we flipped the bottom over and held the side pieces on (this is why you need two people), glued the sides, and attached the corner braces.  We added the corner braces (usually for table legs) because we wanted the top to be able to support some weight.  You case someone wants to dance on it.


(Notice we are not watching television.  We are CONCENTRATING!)

We used finishing nails to attach the sides to the back, and then flipped it over to attach the bottom to the sides, from the bottom.  (Kirby does not nail, which requires a hammer because we have no automatic nailer.  Kirby is not a good hammerer. She consistently misses.)

The top we put together separately, measuring the trim and making mitered cuts to get a nice finish.  We glued and finish nailed the trim around the top.  We didn't add the top to the box until we painted the whole piece, inside and out.  It is easier to paint the inside when you have the top off. The bottom got some flat trim to cover the joints.  (Is that a wood word?  Joints? *snort*)

Because Kirby didn't nail it, she got to paint it.  She chose a chrome yellow and it's a great side table/extra seating for a dorm room!

So this has been the first of what will probably be a few dozen pieces made from auction wood.  (Kirby: FEW dozen? *snort* We'll still be using this $hit in 2027, if it doesn't kill us first.)

Hope you have enjoyed our first  "now that the kids are gone, I guess we have to do stuff together" post!

You can follow our progress on the projects on Kirb Appeal's Facebook page!

I'm at Atta Girl and the others for Homework!
Also joining Kim!


Art and Sand said...

DL is just as creative as you. I love the yellow box.

Deneen@dreaming-n-color said...

This is gonna be fun...... For us anyway....
It all started with a little yellow box!

Jean @ said...

Looking mighty fine! I say it's all good as long as you have a place to store 12,000 pieces of wood. When do I get my cart?!!

Suzan Sweatman said...

What a great piece Kirby -love the color!

Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

Where are the matching stairs?
You two make a great team.

Lynn@FernAvenueBlog said...

That's a lot of wood there. If I was at that auction, I'd probably shake my head and wonder what in the world this guys was making with all that wood :)

Mel@Mellywood's Mansion said...

Awesome cube and Kirby I love you two writing together, fun. Oh I'm now thinking what it will be like to be child free and have to do projects together, I'm tipping not as fun as you two make it sound :P

miss flibbertigibbet said...

Love the cube! I can remember girls in Go-Go boots dancing on them....but then I'm really old.......I can totally see how D was sucked in by the sort of lose all reason....which is why I stick to thrift stores and estate sales. Have you thought about opening a cube store?

karen@somewhatquirky said...

Nice job DL! Congrats on your first post. One cube down, 4,197 to go?

NanaDiana said...

LOL- God bless you! Maybe you will be inviting the kids back so you don't have to kill each other over making CUBES- xo Diana

Bliss said...

I'm here to tell you that a chemical engineer who can build things is awesome because I don't know any wood working guys who use words like joints who could chemically engineer anything!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

I so loved this post....and that's a lot of wood!!!...Great "cube"....and looks like you will be lots of painting Kirby...:)

Danni Baird @ Silo Hill Farm said...

Way to go guys! Your wood pile will be dwindling away in no time if you keep it up!

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

Lol -- my husband would KILL me if I brought home a load of wood... but then again, he's not the handy sort. :) Cute cube -- you should set up outside dorms on move-in day -- bet you'd sell out!
xo Heidi

LittleMyoo said...

Congrats on the awesome cube, but I hate to break it to you...the amount of wood that has disappeared from your pile is about the equivalent of deck chair going missing off the Titanic...



Eclectically Vintage said...

One project down, 6,432,195 to go!
Love the new blog design!

Linda @ it all started with paint said...

I love it! And is it terrible that I may have ... not all the time ... scrolled through looking for Kirby comments? But DL - you really are skilled in the word working thing. Very Norm ...

:) Linda

fiona anderson said...

Now I know why there were so many metal carts. I'm very impressed with the patience DL has and also glad to know there was method behind the madness - you two make such a team !
OH yes, I really like the new blog design too Kirby !

Nadine @ Chic with the Kool-Aid Mustache said...

As a soon to be empty-nester your post tickled me. The hubby would kill me if I came home with all that wood...unless of course he was in on the purchase! Can't wait to see what else you'll make.

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